And beauty and taste (and texture) are not necessarily correlated.
110% in agreement.
One of the main reasons that I started this thread is because I have had/tasted some truly beautiful
looking Neapolitan pies in many restaurants. Some were good. Some were chewy. Some were dry.
One of the visual characteristics that, so far in my experience of "eating", seems to consistently show up in moist and tender Neapolitan pizza, is the "lift" in the cornicione, not too
much, but enough to show "life" and evidence that steam has done it's thing. Whenever I see this, I can tell there is moisture.
The uneven "lift" seems to be a product of a sufficiently relaxed dough ball. While the lift and bubbles promise me moisture, the uneven lift promises tenderness...at least in my restaurant eating experience. In my own pies, I've had 30 out of 32 pies in a pizza party miss this. Then the last two will be unbelievably tender. Not that the others weren't tender, but the last two will almost melt in my mouth. The video in my OP just seemed to characterize this quite well, without an overly soft or over-fermented looking dough.
As for dominantly black
leopard spots vs. dark brown leopard spots, well, so far I have NEVER had the former in an NP restaurant. The first Ciro Salvo video above looks like it has some, but it also includes some browning. I have produced, quite by accident in the early days of my WFO experience, beautiful black leopard spots on a near white canvas of a cornicione. I've since done this with a starter, IDY, ADY, Caputo 00, standard bread flour, room temp ferment, a refrigerator ferment, 24 hour dough, 48 hour dough, and even 96 hour dough. The common denominator is not ingredients and not mixing techniques. It was simply temperature of the dough just before bake. All of these were baked in the Winter or colder Spring evenings. The only thing that I can surmise is that is going on here is that the cooler dough ball's tightness restricts/allows only the thinner skinned bubbles near the surface to expand under extreme heat...thus many, many black
leopard spots before the the pie is finished baking. One other thing that produced multiple, very small black leopard spots was an under-fermented dough...or at least one that left my cornicione somewhat lifeless and lacking texture. Beautiful? Yes. But I didn't think it warranted a photo to share with you all because I was unimpressed with the texture, moisture, lack of tenderness...and it just didn't excite my taste-buds like the pie I had in Nagoya(you can see it on my YouTube channel).
I'm not knocking beauty at all. It's just that my notebook is filling up with stuff I didn't know and notes regarding common, tell-tale signs of a pie that is "probably"
going to be delicious and I now find myself, after a year, as well as over 600 pies baked, in my books, questioning what is a visually "great" pie. Not a visually "beautiful